MLB Trade Rumors: Andrew Cashner, Baltimore Oriole starting pitcher, is exactly the type of guy one would expect to be on the move come July. The righthander is pitching decently, he’s in the last year of his contract, and the Orioles have the worst record in baseball. With the constant demand for starting pitching, Cashner would seem to be one of the most likely players to get dealt, even with an $8 million 2019 salary plus a $1.5 million bonus due in January, 2020, and a 2020 option at $10 million that vests if he throws 187 innings innings this year.
However, Cashner doesn’t want to go, according to a piece in the Athletic. Cashner is happy in Baltimore, likes working with pitching coach Doug Brocail, and goes so far to suggest that he might not report if he does get traded:
“I haven’t thought about it too much. At the end of the day, I kind of control what I want to do. Whether I want to go, whether I want to stay,” Cashner said. “I’d just have to sit down with my family and find out what’s best for us.”
This has to be unsettling news for the O’s, who are trying to rebuild, for whom Cashner is one of the few pieces that might be able to bring something with some value back in return. He doesn’t have a no-trade clause, so he can’t veto a deal — however, if a team looking for a starting pitcher in July isn’t sure if Cashner is going to show up if they trade for him, or are considered his heart won’t be in it or he won’t be in the right mental state to acquire him, that’s going to make them much more reluctant to deal.
This is also, however, a potential opening for the Texas Rangers. Cashner, of course, signed a one-year, make-good deal with the Rangers for the 2017 season, and he put up a 4.6 bWAR season, by far the best of his career, though with peripherals that suggested that the ERA wasn’t sustainable. Cashner is from Conroe and went to TCU, and if family and comfort level is important, it may be that the Rangers are a team he’d feel more comfortable joining.
Cashner had a 5.29 ERA and a 5.32 FIP for the Orioles in 2018, but has put up a 4.14 ERA and a 4.76 FIP in 54.1 IP so far in 2019. The Rangers are two games above .500 right now, and are surprisingly close in the Wild Card race, despite only having Mike Minor and Lance Lynn performing anywhere close to acceptably in the rotation. If the Rangers stay in the playoff race — a huge if — and if Cashner is performing decently, he would potentially be someone they could look to take on for little more than the cost of his remaining contract. Cashner isn’t likely to carry the Rangers to the postseason, but he could give them innings the rest of the way and help them stay afloat, and avoid the need to force guys who aren’t ready into the rotation.